Bank stocks continued their fall Thursday toward six-month lows as the gains posted Wednesday, when the Federal Reserve voted not to raise interest rates, proved short-lived.

Data showing a drop in home construction and a rise in the nation's unemployment rate had given some support to the notion that the economy is easing off its torrid first-quarter growth pace. But the Fed's comments on Wednesday made clear that it is looking for much more evidence that the economy is slowing to a degree that would head off inflation. Sales of new single-family homes fell in May to their lowest level in eight months. New-home sales fell 0.2% last month, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 875,000 units, from April's revised pace of 877,000, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

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